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type     January, 2009

Characterizing fault-plume intersection probability for geologic carbon sequestration risk assessment

Preston D. Jordan, Curtis M. Oldenburg, and Jean-Philippe Nicot

Leakage of CO2 out of the designated storage region via faults is a widely recognized concern for geologic carbon sequestration. The probability of such leakage can be separated into the probability of a plume encountering a fault and the probability of flow along such a fault. In the absence of deterministic fault location information, the first probability can be calculated from regional fault population statistics and modelling of the plume shape and size. In this study, fault statistical parameters were measured or estimated for WESTCARB’s Phase III pilot test injection in the San Joaquin Valley, California. Combining CO2 plume model predictions with estimated fault characteristics resulted in a 3% probability that the CO2 plume will encounter a fault fully offsetting the 180 m (590 ft) thick seal.The probability of leakage is lower, likely much lower, as faults with this offset are probably low-permeability features in this area.

© 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords: geologic carbon sequestation, fault leakage risk, fault encounter probability.

Source: Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies (GHGT) conference, 16-20 November 2008

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